The words with the most calories

A study conducted at UW shows negative criticism  from loved ones about weight actually results in weight gain.

This study consisted of three surveys given to 100 women at UW over a nine-month period. Questions asked were related to self-image, body concerns, and how significant people in the lives of the participants responded to these concerns.

The results revealed that the women who received body-positive messages from loved ones were more likely to maintain weight or even lose weight. In contrast, the women who received more critical messages gained four pounds on average.

“I want to understand how weight concern, stress, and weight are all related to each other so that I can develop ways to help women stop worrying about their weight. Imagine all the time and effort and money we put into weight loss, imagine if we put that into activism or research. Imagine what we could accomplish,” said Christine Logel, lead author and assistant professor for the social development studies program at Renison University College.

If you know a woman attempting to lose weight, Logel suggests you should support her and show that you accept her the way she is. Social support has major positive effects on health, greater than any diet could give.

“Your loved one is being bombarded by messages that she should lose weight ... Women can’t turn on the TV or open a magazine or even ride a bus without being hit with an image of a skinny model or an ad for a weight-loss program. So additional pressure from loved ones is the last thing they need,” said Logel.

The study was published in the December 2014 issue of <em>Personal Relationships</em>.&nbsp;